NEWPORT – An iconic celebrity of the central Oregon coast is ready to writhe and wiggle his way onto a computer screen near you.
Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center this week unveiled its new OctoCam, streaming live video of the Visitor Center’s resident giant Pacific octopus to the world at:
Employing two Webcams – one outside and slightly above the tank and one inside the tank – OctoCam treats visitors to a live 24-hour show featuring the resident cephalopod interacting with tank mates and curious on-lookers. Viewers also have the option of watching archival footage of the octopus investigating the camera when it was first installed; more more archival footage will be added periodically.
The giant Pacific octopus, Enteroctopus dofleini , occupies a central spot among the Visitor Center’s many aquatic animal exhibits. The trademark critter has been a favorite of visitors almost since Science Center opened its doors in 1965. Of course, it hasn’t been the same octopus; typically an adult octopus stays in the tank for between six months and two years. Younger octopuses, often donated by local crabbers, are cycled into the tank to replace the older animals, which are then released back into Yaquina Bay to find a mate and spawn.
Many people plan their HMSC visits to coincide with the animal’s thrice-weekly live crab feedings so they can watch this marine predator stalking and pouncing on prey while learning a bit about octopus biology and behavior. Feeding dates and times vary from season to season, and the current schedule is posted on the Center’s Web site (hmsc.oregonstate.edu/visitor).
Getting the octopus on the web took the combined efforts of nearly every program at the Visitor Center as well as OSU Media Services.
Archival footage: Deriq investigates the Webcam: